Published June 2014  •  Updated February 2024  •  Read Time: 6 minutes
Snowflake Obsidian is a rare variety of Obsidian found primarily in Utah in the Western United States.  It gets its pretty white spots from Cristobalite, a silica mineral that partially crystallized with the Obsidian was hardening.  Like other Obsidians, it is formed from  rapidly cooling lava following a volcanic eruption.  Normally the Obsidian hardens so quickly that there is no time for any minerals to crystallize, making Snowflake Obsidian quite unique!  It’s energy is softer than pure Black Obsidian, offering a gentle grounding.  It is a wonderful stone to work with following a trauma and when grieving a loss.

Snowflake Obsidian snowflake obsidian

Snowflake Obsidian Healing Energy

Spiritual Healing Properties

Snowflake Obsidian has a slightly softer energy than pure black Obsidian. It helps reveal the unnecessary habits and beliefs that limit our lives. When used with conscious intent, Snowflake Obsidian deepens meditation to a remarkable degree and helps to reveal the incredible love and beauty inherent in the universe. It increases psychic sensitivity and the ability to communicate with lost loved ones.

Metaphysical Properties Snowflake Obsidian
Chakra Root and Third Eye
Element Earth and Water
Numerology 1 and 8
Zodiac Virgo and Sagittarius

Emotional Healing Properties

Snowflake Obsidian is a protective and gentle stone for anyone who is experiencing shock or trauma. It helps us to purify ourselves after pain and suffering so we can recover our balance and resume our normal life. Snowflake Obsidian can help us find the silver lining within difficult situations and is particularly good for reducing feelings of loneliness. It has a strong energy that gently reminds us to take charge of our own life and do the work to shift our reality.

Mental Healing Properties

Snowflake Obsidian helps us sharpen our senses and intellect. It is an incredibly calming stone for the mind, soothing away emotional stress so that you can be receptive to new ideas. Snowflake Obsidian ensures that our thinking is grounded so we don’t waste our time. When used with intention, Snowflake Obsidian is a fantastic stone for critical thinking and being able to see the big picture as well as all the details.

Physical Healing Properties

Snowflake Obsidian is a wonderful stones for elders or anyone whose body is feeling its age.  It is a talisman to sooth aching bones, sore joints and muscle tension.  It reminds us that we might not be as young as we once were, but we can either grow wise in our age or continue to act like a fool.  A wise person takes time to rest, uses ice or heating pads, or medicine when needed. A wise person might need to take things a bit slower, but can still enjoy all the fun that life can offer!

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Geology of Snowflake Obsidian

Where does Snowflake Obsidian come from?

Obsidian is found all over the world wherever volcanic activity has occurred.  Snowflake Obsidian is mainly found in Utah, USA.  An additional deposit is in Argentina.

Mining and Treatments

Obsidian may be found on the surface of the Earth and requires little to no mining to extract. It is much prized by indigenous cultures for crafting weapons, tools, and ornaments.

Obsidian is a natural stone, enhanced only by  cutting and polishing.  However, there are also manmade glasses that are occasionally sold as “Obsidian”.  Real Obsidian is almost always a black stone and a additional colors can usually only be seen in the right conditions.  By contrast, manmade “Obsidian” is usually a vivid artificial color such as lime green or magenta.

Snowflake Obsidian Placeholder
Snowflake Obsidian

Do healing crystals speak to you?

At Moonrise Crystals our healing stones sing songs of peace and freedom.  That’s because they are truly ethically-sourced.  And that matters.

Mineral Family

Obsidian is a rock, rather than a mineral. As an easy way to understand the difference, think of rocks as being like cookies and minerals as being the ingredients which make up those cookies. Many different minerals are used to create a rock! Obsidian is an igneous rock that is formed by lava cooling after a volcanic eruption.  The lava cools and hardens so quickly there is no time for any other crystal growth.  It is sometimes referred to a natural glass, volcanic glass or lava stone.

Snowflake Obsidian’s energy works well with its family – other igneous rocks.  Try it in combination with Chinese Writing StoneGarnieriteIndigo GabbroLarvikite Moonstone TourmalinePreseli Bluestone, and Unakite.  Or try combining it with other types of Obsidian like Apache TearBlackGold SheenMahoganyRed Sheen, and Silver Sheen

Snowflake Obsidian Formation and Crystal Associates

Obsidian is formed when lava from a volcanic explosion solidifies so quickly that there is no time for mineral crystals to grow within it. It is sometimes referred as “volcanic glass” due to its glass-like texture. Obsidian is typically jet black, however the inclusion of various minerals can sometimes create colored varieties.  In the case of Snowflake Obsidian, the black parts are Obsidian, while the white pattern is Cristobalite, a silica mineral.

Snowflake Obsidian’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with White Opal

Mineralogy Snowflake Obsidian
Rock Type Igneous Rock
Major Minerals Volcanic Glass
Minor Minerals Feldspar, Hematite
Color Black and white
Texture Vitreous
Transparency Transparent to opaque

History of Snowflake Obsidian

Obsidian was not included in most early lapidaries, texts which describe gemstones and their powers. However archaeological evidence reveals that Obsidian was used to create some of the very oldest cultural artifacts in human history. In fact, Obsidian was also used by our evolutionary ancestors and cousins!

The very earliest Obsidian tools date to the Oldowan, at the very dawn of the Paleolithic/Stone Age (2.6 million -10,000 BCE). Archaeologists believe that the very earliest hominid to use stone tools was Australopithecus garhi (2.5 million BCE) who lived in Ethiopia and is believed to be one of our direct ancestors. Among the fossil remains for this early hominid are obsidian tools used for chopping, scraping, and piercing. Sometime later two other early hominids began making stone tools; Homo habilis(2.4-1.4 million BCE), whose name means “Handy Man” precisely because he used stone tools, and Homo erectus (1.89 million – 143,000 BCE), the first hominid to stand upright like a modern human. Whether each species discovered stone tools independently, or were taught to use them, is a matter of speculation. Equally so, it is impossible to know whether these tools were purely practical or if they had any spiritual purpose.

Obsidian Arrow

Obsidian Arrowhead

At the dawn of human civilization and writing, we know that Obsidian was definitely being used for ritual purposes. In Egypt, Obsidian knives were used for ceremonial circumcisions, as well as to make mirrors and various decorative objects found in tombs. The actual name “Obsidian” was first used by Pliny the Elder (CE23-79) who named it after a Roman citizen/explorer, Obsius, who “discovered” it in Ethiopia. During the ancient and medieval period, Obsidian was thought to drive out demons, and was used as an aid in rituals. It was also used to heal wounds and alleviate pain.  Obsidian was also widely used in the Americas. In Central and North America, Obsidian was a symbol of Tezcatlipoca, the chief god of the Aztec religion.

Snowflake Obsidian is a rare type of Obsidian, mainly mined in Utah, United States.  The black parts are pure black Obsidian, the white is due to Cristobalite, a silica mineral.  Cristobalite was named after Cerro San Cristobal, in Hidalgo Mexico where it was first discovered.  It is a white mineral with an identical chemical formula as Clear Quartz, but has a distinct crystal structure.

When working with Snowflake Obsidian it is beneficial to also explore the concept of winter and snow as spiritual concepts.  Winter is a time of rest, when one year ends and a new one begins.  During the winter, night lasts longer than the day, giving us an opportunity to explore questions of light and shadow.  Winter can also be a time when we face hardships, perhaps even hunger, but from these experiences we learn endurance and hope.  Snowflakes are tiny natural ice crystals.  Their size and shape depends on the temperature and the humidity in the air.  If it is more humid, the snowflakes are large and well-formed.  If the air is dry, the snowflakes are smaller and more dense.  Spiritually, snowflakes are a reminder that even though we may look the same from a distance, look more closely.  We are all unique, just as no two snowflakes are perfectly alike.

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